In a recent interview with USA Today, Fox News host Glenn Beck was asked to define what he does. “I’m a little of everything,” replied Beck, saying that included being a “‘concerned dad,’ ‘faith-based guy,’ ‘businessman,’ ‘entertainer’ and, after a long pause, ‘journalist.'” “I don’t have formal training as a journalist, but I think that works to my advantage,” said Beck.
Though not shocking, Beck’s claim to be “a journalist” is surprising, given how often he has rhetorically shielded himself by saying, “I’m not a journalist.” In fact, as recently as April 5, 2010, Beck said he wore it “as a badge of honor” that he is “not a journalist”:
— “I am not a journalist. I’m just a guy who cares. I’m sorry. I’m just a guy who cares an awful lot about my country.” [Fox News, 2/3/2009]
— “I’m not a journalist. I’m just a dad, man. I’m a guy who just loves my country, and I think you are very much the same with me.” [Fox News, 2/6/2009]
— “I want you to understand clearly, I am not a journalist — be very clear on that. I am an opinion-maker.” [Fox News, 3/23/2009]
— “You know, honestly — look, I’m not a journalist. This is the first, you know, tragedy that I have covered on the air.” [Fox News, 4/3/2009]
— “I come to the table from a conservative or libertarian point of view, and I admit that. I’m a commentator. I’m not a journalist or anything else.” [Fox News, 6/2/2009]
— “I want you to know, I’m not a journalist. I am a conservative. I am much more of a libertarian.” [Fox News, 8/6/2009]
— “I think there should have been a follow-up question, George. I’m not a journalist, you are.” [Fox News, 9/21/2009]
— “I mean, you know — I say on this program all the time, I’m not a journalist.” [Fox News, 9/30/2009]
— “Even in the news division of FOX — which I want to make very clear and I have from the very beginning — I am not a journalist. In fact, I wear that as a badge of honor.” [Fox News, 10/15/2009]
— “And I remind you, I am not a journalist. I’m just a dad.” [Fox News, 12/10/2009]
— “This administration, they respond to FOX News by saying we’re not even a news organization. And opinion shows like mine — understand, I’m not a journalist and I wear it as a badge of honor, I’m an opinion guy.” [Fox News, 4/5/2010]
Beck routinely makes the claim on his radio show as well. “I am so proud of the fact to tell you I am not a journalist,” Beck said on his Jan. 14, 2008 radio show. “I never claimed to be a journalist. I am an opinion person,” said Beck on April 16, 2009. Beck even told Katie Couric that he’s “not a journalist.” Watch it:
It’s quite ironic that after all these years of saying that he’s “not a journalist,” Beck has finally attempted to claim the mantle of journalist while promoting a fiction book he wrote with a team of staffers.
Media Matters notes that Beck’s Fox News show just suffered its worst ratings week of the year.